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Andrei Baltakmens
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Author and reader
Author and reader

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Knocking around an idea to streamline the damage (and armour) tables in AFF.

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Our American Podsnap
Since Trump captured the presidency of the United States (you could not say he won by any merit of his own, and in fact Hilary Clinton has now a significant lead in the popular vote), I've been wondering if there was a literary clue to the reasons for this ...

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Unfinished, not unread
I firmly believe that writers should be readers, that reading is an act of faith in writing and essential to the craft. And while I dislike leaving a book unfinished, it sometimes happens that, due to work, writing, or other contingencies, a book has to be ...

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Another reminder that Conrad remains eerily relevant to the politics of terror today.

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The Prague Cemetery - Umberto Eco
The main character—it would be too much to say he is the protagonist—of Umberto Eco's novel The Prague Cemetery is flatly despicable. This is not to suggest that Simone Simonini is an anti-hero; he is simply a hateful man, a murderer, misanthrope, misogynis...

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A thought about metaphors
All fictions, all fictional worlds, are to some degree extended metaphors. Recently, I've had reason to wonder how metaphors work, and that kind of work they do. We all sense that through the process of reading we not only gain an experience but discover, o...

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A lucid discussion of the invisible hand of a dominant doctrine, and a call to build something better.

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This is an interesting article for its thoughts on the roles of reason and memory, and imagination, in the configuration of intelligence and artificial intelligence. But I'm also taken by the remarks on the relationship between emotion, metaphor, and memory. 

If emotion is the writer's link between the two parts of a metaphor, then the metaphor, as experienced by the reader, surely provokes its own poetic emotion, which is itself an index to other resemblances, other meanings, known only to the reader and yet now also linked to the metaphor. The metaphor does not so much break the semiotic code or the trace of meaning as traverse a deeper layer of association and memory.

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